Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist
A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas
and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries,
says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for
years. The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae
said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-
funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid
that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry. He decided to
sequence the parasite's DNA and discovered it was an Asian variant,
nosema ceranae. Asian honeybees are less vulnerable to it, but it can
kill European bees in a matter of days in laboratory conditions.
"Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in heat and cold. A
hive can become infected in two months and the whole colony can
collapse in six to 18 months," said Higes, whose team has published a
number of papers on the subject.